I was driving with my son. The radio was loud. I asked my son a question and couldn’t hear his response. I attempted to hit the mute button, but that failed to work.

My son said with a chuckle, “Mom, that’s like your life. You attempt to hit the mute button, but you can never tune out us kids and all my sisters’ yelling.” (Of course he had to throw that in)

My son often comes out with these types of metaphors that make me stop and think, and that mute button metaphor definitely made me do a lot of thinking.

We can not shut off the mute button to control life’s events. Sometimes many of these events are going to come at us like missiles all at once: a death, loss of a job, illness, etc. That’s when we go into overload and feel like we’re going to break down.

We have three choices: cope, fall a part and/or retreat. How do we learn to cope when we feel like our lives are falling apart?

You have probably all heard the power of expressing gratitude. For years, Oprah kept a gratitude journal. When she stopped filling out the journal, she felt that her life wasn’t on the same positive track so she would resumed it.

When I was in the throws of my divorce, I did everything to cope and keep myself on track. Taking a page from Oprah, I started a gratitude journal and dutifully wrote 5 things I was grateful for daily. On top of that, I meditated, prayed, ran, did affirmations and practiced yoga. The problem was, I was still feeling irritated, angry and depleted, even though I was supposedly doing everything right.

I have a very insightful primary care doctor. When I went for my annual check up, she asked how I was doing? I answered, “Not so good,” and proceeded to tell her everything I was dong to make myself feel better.

She replied, “When you do all these activities, do you feel them or are you just going through the motions like a check list.”

If there were ever an Ah huh moment, that was it for me. Here I was thinking I was doing everything right to stay positive, but since I was only going through the steps without emotion and genuine desire, I wasn’t benefitting from any of them.

Tony Robbins says that the only way affirmations work is when you put the emotion behind them. I agree with him that there has to be emotion, but I don’t necessarily agree with saying the affirmations.

Why? Because I believe we have to be true to ourselves, and sometimes affirmations do not feel genuine when we say them. Instead, when I’m struggling with an issue, I say, “G-d (or whatever you believe), I’m having ________ issue. Please help guide me to find a solution.” When I’m in the midst of what I feel to be a crisis, I may say this many times per day.”

Please know, if you feel like you are in a crisis, struggling with an issue, etc,  you are not alone. Reach out! We will find the right support for you.